Co-working company WeWork plans 20 more locations in Toronto
The increasingly famous American co-working firm WeWork is expanding rapidly. Everywhere. All the time.
Some say the company is changing the very nature of work itself (for better or for worse) with it's trendy, laid back, collaborative vibe. Others say it's an overvalued, idealistic start-up fuelled by "Silicon Valley pixie dust" and the millennial id.
Whatever the case, Toronto is about to see a whole lot more of it.
WeWork is aiming to open up another 20 – yes 20 - coworking spaces in this city by 2020. Currently, there are three.
"The bottom line is, we don't see any limit to demand," said WeWork's Dave McLaughlin by phone to Bloomberg News in a recent interview. "We're definitely setting our sights high for the city and we think it is an amazing ecosystem for business."
He's right about demand for co-working space in Toronto, though it should be noted that WeWork is far from the only game in town.
Both of the New York-based firm's first two locations here were 98 per cent occupied within a month after they opened up in 2017.
A third office at 1 University Ave., announced in January, is also seeing "really strong" demand, according to McLaughlin.
I guess office dogs, beer kegs and Drake art really do appeal to the modern, mobile, young professional.
WeWork plans to open two additional locations this year, which sounds doable – but 18 news locations in less than two years sounds... optimistic.
Then again, the SoftBank-backed company has money to throw around, which could help. Just a few months ago, its affiliate WeWork Property Advisors bought the entire Lord & Taylor building in Manhattan from Canada's Hudson’s Bay Co. for $1 billion.
Under the terms of that deal, WeWork will be leasing space in Hudson's Bay department stores across Canada – including its flagship store at the Eaton Centre in Toronto.
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